The holiday season is almost here, which means you’ll probably be driving to see your family soon. While those trips can be lots of fun, they also pose a danger. According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis, the holiday season has higher fatality rates from car accidents than non-holiday periods do. Because of that, you need to focus on car seat safety to protect your loved ones. Here are some car seat safety facts, so you’ll be ready to travel this holiday season.
1. Follow the Car Seat Laws in California
Following the car seat laws in California is one way to ensure that your kids stay safe. According to the law, kids under the age of two have to use rear-facing car seats. There are two exceptions. They can use front-facing car seats if they are taller than 40 inches or weigh at least 40 pounds.
Also, all children under eight years old must be in a booster or car seat that’s secured in the back of the vehicle. While the laws on booster seats don’t directly address when a child can go from a car seat to a booster seat, parents are encouraged to keep kids in car seats for as long as they can.
The booster seat requirements do address when kids can graduate to seat belts, though. The laws state that children who have reached 4’9″ or eight years of age can move on to safety belts if desired.
2. Install the Car Seat Correctly
If you don’t know how to install a car seat, you’re not alone. Many people don’t know how to do it, and that puts their kids at risk. You can secure the car seat with a seat belt or LATCH system. If you choose a seat belt, you will thread it through the car seat path. Then, secure the seat belt.
If you select the LATCH system, you’ll connect the attachments to the car’s lower anchor bars. Be mindful of the weight limits for your car seat’s LATCH system.
You need to make sure the car seat is secure, regardless of the system you use. Put pressure on the base and try to move it. The car seat should not move more than an inch in any direction.
3. Be Mindful of Car Seat Placement
You probably wonder, “Is a car seat safer behind the driver or passenger?” Car seat safety protocols state that you should put the car seat in the middle, so it’s not behind the passenger or the driver. However, if you have more than one car seat, you can also put one behind the passenger.
Now, you might wonder, “Can you put a car seat behind the driver?” Technically, you can. You will not break the law, but you should only do that if there isn’t room in the middle or passenger side.
Practice Car Seat Safety This Holiday Season
Follow these tips to make car seat safety a priority this holiday season and beyond. These tips will keep your loved ones safe. You can also protect yourself and your family by making sure you have ample insurance coverage. Speak to a licensed insurance agent to ensure you’re appropriately covered before your holiday travel.